CSN calls for investigation into use of public funds for partisan purposes

PARLIAMENTARY CABINET OATH OF OFFICE Press conference

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Civil Society Network is calling for an investigation into the use of public resources used for partisan interests.

CSN said in a statement issued on Thursday that since the entire Cabinet is under criminal investigation for the misuse of public resources for their personal use, the NGO raised the issue on consultancies and roles within the government.

“It is well known that the largest costs incurred by the two established political parties are their media wings. It is no secret that many ONE Group employees simultaneously enjoy contracts in the public sector” – said the Civil Society Network.

According to the NGO, there is a basis to investigate whether public funds are used to effectively subsidise media agencies belonging to political parties.

On Wednesday it was reported that Ministers and parliamentary secretaries are facing a criminal investigation into their misuse of public funds after an investigation by the Standards Commissioner found that four of them had used public funds to pay for advertising on their personal Facebook profiles.

It was only after the Standards Commissioner report that different ministries and parliamentary secretariats started setting up official ministry pages. A separate investigation by the Economic Crimes Unit is also underway.

CSN continued to explain that in Malta, a lack of party-state distinction creates a tension in the political topography of the country, and undermines the strength of the independent press who has to compete with the Government.

It also mentioned how international reports have lamented the erosion of media freedom that has continued to decline after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.